Today, the BBC News website continued its slide into sensationalist tabloid pro-bad driver rhetoric with a piece on “lucrative” bus lane cameras.
I almost hesitate about writing this post because the headlines have splashed, people have muttered the usual “bloody councils using hard-pressed motorists as cash cows” and the RAC chimed in with;
“Bus lane cameras are fast becoming a new ‘cash bonanza’ for councils. The amount of money being raised by them in fines is frightening.
Rather than just rubbing their hands together and taking the money councils should be asking questions as to why so many motorists are being caught driving in bus lanes.”
The story has of course been picked up by the usual suspects such as the London Evening Standard, Metro, and Daily Mail (who I won’t link to). I don’t know whether the news release was pre-cascaded to other outlets and no doubt local takes on the “news” will be doing the rounds such as the Chronicle in Newcastle. That sort of debate is for others to take forward. The data relates to the 2015/16 financial year where £31m was taken in bus lane fines. To put that into context, the revenue budget for English local authorities for the same year was estimated at £4,922m (£4.9bn) for highways and transport. So, the bus lane fines contributed 0.6% – I state contributed as fines can only be used for highways and transport matters by the issuing authority.